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Siri Ming and Garry L. Martin

A self-talk package was used to improve performance of compulsory figures by prenovice- and novice-level figure skaters. The study included ongoing objective behavioral assessment across practices of the figure skating performance as well as the extent to which the skaters actually utilized the self-talk. A multi-element design with multiple baseline replications across 4 participants demonstrated that improvements were due to the treatment. Self-report follow-up at 1 year indicated that the participants continued to utilize the selftalk during practices and that they believed that it enhanced their test and/or competitive performance. The results support the view that planned self-talk can aid skill acquisition. Results are conceptualized in terms of rule-governed control over behavior, which may provide a useful framework for enabling sport psychologists to increase the efficacy of self-talk interventions.

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Andrea Hazen, Carolyn Johnstone, Garry L. Martin and Suja Srikameswaran

A videotaping feedback package was developed for improving skills of youth competitive swimmers. Experiment 1 examined the videotaping package for improving freestyle and backstroke racing turns of young competitive swimmers. Positive results were obtained in a multiple-baseline design across subjects. Experiment 2 compared the videotaping feedback package to a group videotaping procedure (that the coach had been using at the time of this research) for improving freestyle swimming strokes of young competitive swimmers. The videotaping feedback package was effective whereas the group videotaping procedure had little or no effect. For most subjects in the two studies, improvements were maintained with minimal prompting and feedback under normal practice conditions. Suggestions for future research are discussed.

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Gregg Tkachuk, Adrienne Leslie-Toogood and Garry L. Martin

We suggest that expanded use of behavioral assessment strategies in sports by researchers and practitioners will be beneficial for researchers, practitioners, athletes, and coaches. Behavioral assessment involves the collection and analysis of information and data in order to identify and describe target behaviors, identify possible causes of the behaviors, select appropriate treatment strategies to modify the behaviors, and evaluate treatment outcomes. In this paper, we summarize characteristics of traditional approaches to assessment in sport psychology, describe differences between behavioral assessment and traditional assessment, examine components of behavioral assessment for sport psychology practitioners and researchers, and discuss future directions in behavioral assessment in sport psychology.

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Gail Kendall, Dennis Hrycaiko, Garry L. Martin and Tom Kendall

This study investigated the effects of an imagery rehearsal, relaxation, and self-talk package on the performance of a specific defensive basketball skill during competition. Subjects were four female intercollegiate basketball players. A single-subject multiple-baseline-across-individuals design was employed to evaluate the intervention package. The intervention was clearly effective in enhancing a basketball skill during games, and social validity measures were very positive. The need for further research in this area is discussed.

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K. Michelle Hume, Garry L. Martin, Patricia Gonzalez, Clayton Cracklen and Sheldon Genthon

Behavioral coaching techniques consisting of instructions, a self-monitoring checklist, and coach feedback were examined at freestyle practice sessions with three female prenovice figure skaters. These techniques were compared to normal coaching procedures for their effects on the frequency of jumps and spins performed, the number of times a skater practiced a routine to music, and the amount of time spent engaging in off-task behaviors during 45-min free-skating sessions. Within a reversal-replication design, the behavioral coaching techniques produced considerable improvement on all dependent measures. Social validation measures indicated that the procedures improved quality of skating and were rated positively by the coach and by two of the three skaters.

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Melanie J. Gregg, Dennis Hrycaiko, Jennifer B. Mactavish and Garry L. Martin

The purpose in this study was to replicate and extend the mental skills training (MST) package of Wanlin, Hrycaiko, Martin, and Mahon (1997) to Special Olympics track and field athletes with intellectual disabilities. Three participants ranged in age from 21 to 23 years. A multiple baseline design across individuals was used to assess the effects of the intervention on off-task behaviors and athletic performance (i.e., work output and competition results). The results were clearly beneficial for two participants, decreasing the frequency and duraton of off-task behaviors and increasing the percentage of laps completed for the third participant. A social validity assessment provided further support for the effectiveness of the intervention.